You know when you have an important job, how you often clean your room or do some other busy work instead of taking on the challenges? That’s what we’re doing on the environment. Here are some examples.
Hard problem 1: Teaching about nature
Everyone talks about teaching more science in school, especially environmental. Teaching children science avoids the serious problem: adults who don’t understand about nature, cause and effect, observation, experiment, and what makes up science.
People avoid teaching adult decision-makers science or what would help more (since the science overwhelmingly teaches us we have to act to sustain Earth’s ability to sustain life): leadership. Kids don’t run companies, vote, hold office, or influence organizations or society. I don’t condemn teaching kids science, but it does nothing. The adults polluting today were probably taught science. They’re still polluting. The challenge is how to act on it effectively. That’s leadership.
I think people choose kids to teach because they can force the kids to sit down and listen (not an effective way to teach). They’re doing what they can through authority—that is, threat of punishment—instead of leading. They’re doing what’s easy instead of effective.
Hard problem 2: Overpopulation
The top proposed solution from nearly everyone who believes Earth is overpopulated with humans is educating girls and women. I’m all for educating everyone in many fields. Saying we should educate women is essential. People suggesting it clarify to teach women and girls family planning and to fight culture.
Are they taking for granted that boys and men are taught family planning? I suspect they do think men can’t change. I’ll bet nobody teaches boys or men family planning. I say teach everyone family planning, not just girls and women. Why presume that teaching men family planning isn’t worth their time?
What do people mean by culture when people say it has to change? Do they mean culture is men’s views? Women’s too? Am I reading too far between the lines to hear they mean change men?
I say take on culture. I’m doing it. Why take it as a given or unchanging? Teach adults whom you’d have to lead, not just lecture or tell kids what to do.
Do they think only men want as many children as possible? Do they think men are stupid and unable to change, mindlessly interested in impregnating as many women as many times as possible? It sounds like they think so. Do they think men are slaves to their passions, unable to change or learn? It sounds like it. Do they know that many women promote large families?
I say teach everyone family planning and don’t consider men idiots, nor reject that many women want many children on their own.
Hard problem 3: too much stuff
Everyone knows we’re producing too much stuff and the by-products are lowering Earth’s ability to sustain life. The predominant “solution” I see: Making yet more stuff, calling it something like “making good by doing well.
Instead of tearing down highways, we build more cars (missing that their efficiencies drive lower costs of ownership, which lead to more cars).
Instead of boycotting or avoiding H&M, Zara, and other fast fashion, we start more clothing companies and call them sustainable. Their messages are to buy more clothes, not to consider that Americans don’t wear most of their clothes so don’t need new stuff.
We’re doing things that are easy and fun to make us feel like we’re making a difference. These three examples are just to illustrate. Look and you’ll find plenty more online of people avoiding doing what’s effective when it’s hard and settling for each even when ineffective.
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